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View Full Version : DataPlay - a record label's dream?

Ed Hansberry
04-18-2002, 04:05 PM
<a href="http://ptech.wsj.com/ptech.html">http://ptech.wsj.com/ptech.html</a><br /><br />Walter Mossberg has obtained a DataPlay device and has put the technology through its paces. <i>Note: if you click on the link and get something else, click column archive and navigate to the April 18, 2002 column.</i> In this article written last year, <a href="http://www.pocketpcthoughts.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=913&highlight=dataplay">Jason gave some thoughts on DataPlay,</a> and while the technology looked cool back then, Mossberg had some very disturbing findings when he recently looked at it. Here are a few quotes from the article:<br /><br />• But the biggest downside of the new DataPlay format is that it is the first format for prerecorded music that's designed from the ground up with a copy-protection system that will severely limit the way honest consumers can use the music they buy.<br />• you won't be able to copy any of the music to a PC, or burn it onto a CD for use in a CD player<br />• each song can only be copied to another DataPlay disk five times, curbing the number of "mix" disks you can make<br />• Installation of the necessary software was a pain. Five sets of programs and drivers needed to be installed, including one that creates a file system for the disks<br />• Music on the disks can be played through your PC's speakers, but only if you use a special music program called Future Player, which is designed to handle the encrypted files<br />• <b> And anyone using it as a music medium is giving up most of his legal rights to copy music for convenient use. DataPlay may be a record label's dream format</b><br /><br />So, I can only make 5 copies of a song ever, which means after 3-4 years, I'll be stuck since I go through hard drives, Pocket PC's and computers quite often. Or worse, I lose one of the small disks and need to make another copy.<br /><br />Sigh...until someone figures out how to let me make as many copies of music <b><i>and</i></b> protect the copyright holders rights, without forcing me to give up my consumer rights, I'll opt for technologies that protect my rights first. I think DataPlay should be avoided until we see that they are putting as much effort into our rights as they seem to be the record labels. :-)

04-18-2002, 04:22 PM

•Sigh...until someone figures out how to let me make as many copies of music and protect the copyright holders rights, without forcing me to give up my consumer rights, I'll opt for technologies that protect my rights first.

I'm afraid it will never happen. The record companies (and other media companies) don't believe we consumers HAVE any "fair use" rights. They want us to pay them a steady stream of royalties every time we "benefit" from their product. If we let them, every device we have will simply keep a list of every song we listen to, every movie we watch, every book we read, etc, and BEAM that information back to them for billing purposes.

Maybe that's the answer- we can copy anything we want, and distribute it everywhere we want, but we get billed every time we use it. If the cost was low enough, I'd live with that.

If it was a sliding scale, where a brand new movie cost $5 to show, and a new CD was 50 cents per song, but after the popularity died down, the movie was a dime and the song was a penny, maybe I'd be willing to pay that bill.

Will T Smith
04-19-2002, 12:18 AM

to break the protection schemes once this stuff is out in public use. It is impossible to broadcast a secure transmission to EVERYONE and still keep it protected.

Let me elaborate. As a media vendor you want to distribute your product to a wide audience. Therefore certain "strong" encryption standards are off limits because they are meant for point to point transmissions between parties sharing a secret. Because EVERYONE must have the capability to use the media, any protection scheme used is INHERENTLY WEAK.

If your PC speakers can play it through a PC card ... then the drivers and software must be able to decode it. Drivers and software can be reverse engineered. Once the encoding scheme is discovered, the media is busted, just like DVD.

The disc itself is a cool technology. I say bring it on as I have tons of uses for it, be it digital photos, small movie clips or MP3s. Once the crack hack is out, the protection will be meaningless anyway.

04-19-2002, 04:08 AM
It's a shame that as we "progress" our rights are being removed. "Protect the artist" is a very hollow catch cry from the people that make the most money out of the sales that they think they're missing out from. I don't know about you guys, but I've bought a number of CDs because of the MP3s that my friends have played me from the net. I don't download them myself though.


Dave Conger
04-19-2002, 10:17 PM
Have you ever noticed that some music companies are giving away music from some of their newest and most talked about artists for free? I was checking out some record labels web sites and they have complete songs on their that you can stream in decent quality. I understand that some places have clip and even radio stations broadcast online, but they all do it at a "not so great" quality. These were complete songs, no branding (on the instrumental breaks to say it is a promo) at 96-128kbps. It just strikes me as funny that a label would say "stop copy our music" but then provide some of their hit songs on their site...

10-04-2002, 12:44 AM
The entire Dataplay idea reminded me of (although not the same) the Circuit City attempt at media with the DiVX service. Look what happened to it. Flew south with the Dodo bird.